Acton Bjørn

Acton Bjørn

Born: 1910 - Died: 1992

Acton Bjørn was a Danish designer and architect. He attended the Technical Society’s school in 1926-30 and in 1931 he was trained as a carpenter. In the same year, he went directly to the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, and graduated in 1933.

In the late 1930s, he collaborated with architect Vilhelm Lauritzen as his employee. Together they established Radiohuset (Home of the Danish National Broadcasting Company).

During World War II Acton Bjørn debuted in drawing furniture and wallpapers.  The beginning of his pioneering work in the fields of Danish industrial design, was marked by his meeting with American industrial design in the United States in 1947. There he supervised the construction of the SAS aircraft at the Boeing and Douglas factory.

The first Scandinavian design studio, called Bernadotte & Bjørn Industridesign, was completely devoted to industrial design, and it was created in 1949 by Acton Bjørn himself and the Swedish designer Sigvard Bernadotte. The headquarters were based in Copenhagen with offices in New York and Stockholm. The cooperation between Bernadotte and Bjørn lasted until 1964. During that time, they created numerous design classics such as stainless steel cookware for Modernum (1954) and the plastic bowl Margrethe for Rosti Bakelite Factory (1950), which is still produced. The following names can be found among the list of clients: Husqvarna, Bang & Olufsen, Facit, AGA, General Electric and Elektro-Helios.

Bernadotte and Bjørn Industridesign A/S graduates include Jacob Jensen and Jan Trägårdh.

From 1965-1990 Bjørn led his own office in Copenhagen, the Acton Bjørn studio, which specialized in household appliances, office furniture and packaging. The same year, he designed a transistor radio for Bang & Olufsen, Beolit 500. The design simplifies the using of the radio in comparation with the phone. In 1966 Bjørn won a Danish design award for this work. Acton Bjørn managed to combine practical functionality with a simple sculptural form.

Among his lighting designs you will find: the Vario (1974) and the Wonderlamp (1969), produced by LYFA.

He passed away 06.20-1992 at age 82.

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Vario by Acton Bjørn for LYFA 1974